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Italian oncologists and vaccinations against infectious diseases: Results of a survey of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology.

Tumori 2023 August 11
BACKGROUND: Patients with cancer present a higher risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. Recommended vaccinations are the most cost-effective measure to reduce the risk of transmission and related complications. Nevertheless, vaccination rates are inadequate. Oncologists have a central role in tailored vaccine communication to their patients. We present the results of a survey conducted by AIOM in 2022, focusing on the perception of the problem by oncologists.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An anonymous 31-item online questionnaire was shared on 15 September 2022 on the AIOM website. The objectives of this survey were to examine the perception of Italian oncologists on vaccine-preventable diseases and the main available vaccines, their attitude towards recommending vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic impact on their habits regarding vaccine-preventable diseases.

RESULTS: Between September 2022 and January 2023, 114 medical oncologists (5% of the members) completed the anonymous questionnaire. At the first oncological visit, only 30% of respondents usually propose a vaccination schedule to all their patient, 41% do not usually discuss vaccinations at the first visit and 29% recommend vaccines exclusively to specific categories of patients. For 56% of respondents, patients are more aware of the benefits of vaccines, whereas 36% reported that patients are worried of receiving too many vaccines.

CONCLUSION: This is the first survey conducted among Italian oncologists to better understand the perception and attitudes towards the vaccination. It highlights the urgent issues of educating and training oncologists in vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccine awareness and the need to build (or implement) a network of multidisciplinary collaborations.

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